Sooner or later it looks like we are running out of gardening space. So, we found a way to help you maximize the space of your porch or garden by growing plants vertically. For a change, you will learn to make drip-irrigating garden towers out of recycled 2-liter soda bottles. We guarantee it works just fine for growing herbs, small veggies and flowers.
Simply follow the 4 easy steps given below:
Step #1: Create a base for the tower
- Cut around the base of a soda bottle. Â Make the cut a bit below where the label ends, ideally so that a tiny bit of the bottom curve inward is preserved. This will help the bottles nest tightly together when you stack them. Discard base of bottle, you do not need it.
- Then poke two drainage holes with scissors, on the opposite sides, about three inches above the cap. How big they should be? No bigger than the diameter of a Bic ball-point pen.
- Fill the bottle with potting mix, compost or garden soil, pressing the soil in lightly. Leave an inch of space at the top of the bottle.
- Tie the base for your tower onto a supporting structure, such as chain-link fencing or wire, with twine.
Step #2: Build the tower levels
- Cut the bottom off a bottle, just as you did first to create the base. Remove the cap and discard it.
- Fill the bottle carefully with some soil, as for the base, reserving one inch of space at the top of it.
- Case the bottle firmly atop the base, and tie it on.
- Repeat this part 1-3 times, depending on how tall you want your tower to be.
Step # 3: Create a drip-irrigation system
- Cut a bottle in half about midway toward the top. This bottle will be shorter than the others, and will serve as a funnel for watering.
- Place the funnel atop the tower, nesting it firmly in the soil of the level below.
- Cut the bottom off a final bottle, just as you did previously for the base, and tower levels. This will be the watering bottle.
- Drill a one mm hole in the cap, or pierce with a nail, and replace cap.
- Place the watering bottle atop the funnel, and (optionally) tie down.
Step # 4: It’s time to plant and grow
- Cut 3 lines in each soil bottle with a box cutter, as if you were drawing the top and sides of a square. (Each side of the square should be about 1.5-2 inches.) Leave the bottom of the square uncut, and instead fold down the flap. This creates a valve to hold the soil and seedling in.
- Poke a hole, and insert a small seedling or seeds. Fill the watering bottle every few days, as needed.
And there you are!
- Hmm… Wondering what to plant? Well, here are some easy starters.
This method can work for growing smaller veggies such as:
1. arugula 2.lettuce 3. dandelion greens (taraxacum) 3. beets 4. radishes 5. beans or 6. peas.
Also try various herbs or medicinal plants such as:
1.aloe 2.parsley 3. mint 4. basil 5.oregano
And flower such as:
1. marigolds and 2. zinnias (they both do very well).
- If the watering bottle ceases to drip, check the drainage hole in the cap for clogging.
- Try adding a handful of sand to the watering bottle to slow the drip rate and allow more gradual and efficient watering.
A list of things you will need for your “vertical feat”:
- 5 or more 2-liter soda bottles
- Box cutter or knife
- A pair of scissors
- Twine or baling wire (about 3 feet)
- Chain link fence, wire frame, or other supporting structure
- 3 or more seedlings, or seeds for 3+ plants